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Press Release

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Announces 2010 Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List

~ Literacy selections nurture appreciation of Hispanic culture ~

TALLAHASSEE – In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office announces the 2010 Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List. This annual reading list includes selections for readers of all ages to help increase awareness and foster interest in the rich legacy and many contributions Hispanic Americans make to Florida’s unique culture and way of life.

“Hispanic Heritage Month provides a great opportunity for students and families to explore the different cultures and traditions of people from Spanish-speaking countries through literature,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I am honored to join Floridians throughout the state as we immerse ourselves in Hispanic culture and pay tribute to the remarkable diversity that makes Florida so special.”

New reading selections for this year’s recommended reading list include “Gracias Thanks,” by Pat Mora for elementary students in grades K-2, “Return to Sender,” by Julia Alvarez for elementary students in grades 3-5, “Journey of Dreams,” by Marge Pellegrino for middle school students and “Latino Literacy: The Complete Guide to Our Hispanic History and Culture,” by Frank De Varona for high school students.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a national celebration beginning Sept. 15, 2010, the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also achieved independence on the 16th and 18th of September, respectively. Hispanic Heritage Month has been recognized in the United States since 1974, when President Gerald Ford issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation.

Just Read, Florida! recommended reading lists provide a variety of suggested books by grade level and also include suggested books for adults. To view the recommended reading list for Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit